Thanksgiving is over. The Pittsburgh Pirates can now get to work looking for a platoon partner for Gaby Sanchez. If you listened to Clint Hurdle on the latest RumBunter podcast, it was obvious he didn’t exactly sound thrilled with the Bucs offense. The Bucs have some holes to fill and it seems the money is going to be tight because nobody is sharing a target budget number despite obvious increases in top line revenue. So the timing of these shopping articles seems perfect.
Without a first baseman in the system, the Bucs have checked in on Mitch Moreland of the Texas Rangers. If you drink a few dozen Iron’s and squint hard enough, Moreland sort of fits the Pirates mold. Some pop in the bat for a low, low price tag.
Moreland is headed to his first year of arbitration after getting some change over $500 grand last year. He will get a bump after putting up career numbers with 147 games played, 60 runs driven in with 23 bombs.
Moreland has went from spray it around to pull happy. Heh pull happy might be a good thing at PNC though right? Uh, probably not– the OBP dove to .299, but if you believe in BABIP it was a career low .255. The lefty swinging Moreland has career 8.5% walk rate along with a growing each year 20.3% strikeout rate.
A little Garret Jones-esque, you say? Well yeh. It’s all bat with Moreland, the glove and base running skills are weak.
He does remind me of a player that could one day man the cold corner at PNC in Stetson Allie in one way. The Rangers tried to convince Moreland to pitch after seeing him show off his (still) strong arm at Mississippi State, but unlike Allie, Moreland convinced the Rangers he felt he could make it as a hitter. While in the minors he definently did so, proving to Texas he could hit and he got a shot.
2014 is a big season to prove that for Moreland and if he stays in Texas he will do it all around the diamond with the Rangers recent blockbuster acquisition of Prince Fielder.
It’s hard to imagine Huntington giving up much for Moreland. It’s nearly impossible for us to believe Dan Fox is a fan. But should some of the other options we are going to research and feel strongly about don’t come to pass, maybe Moreland could be Plan X? Ok, Play Y.
Moreland’s hit chart at Arlington shows he still moves the ball around especially when facing serious shifts as the season progressed.
Career spray chart for Moreland:
Here are the interesting Baseball Prospectus comments on Moreland through the years. (Click to embiggen)
Platoon was whacked in 2013.
Tags: Pittsburgh Pirates